Authored by Zishan Razzaq

Friday, January 4, 2013

How to get Started on Salesforce

Hi everyone:
   Welcome back.
Many people have asked me numerous times on -"How do i get started on Salesforce?", "What should i know about it?". So I thought instead of me giving the same answer over and over again, I would outline it for you here on my blog.

So here is the solution to your inquiry:
  • First, you need to go to Salesforce.com if you never been there. examine it.
  • If you have been there, lets get into the tool itself:
    • Go to Developer Force . This is the key/core of you learning Salesforce from A to Z.
 
      • Developer force - has the latest news and upcoming events for administrators and developers of the system. It also contains the following sections:
        • Technical Library - All great documentation and workbooks are here
        • Live Webinar information on the next release.
        • Latest Featured Content - what is the top featured being released.
        • Upcoming Events - Cloudforce/Dreamforce, etc.
 
    • Go thru the steps and sign up. This will provide you the ability have your own instance/org. A developer version but still can do many things. 
  • Once you have your org. Log in. you can do that by going here:



  • Before getting started in your org it is always good to know what server you are on (just in case Salesforce is doing maintenance or it goes down).
    • The URL tells you what server you are on once you log into your developer org. For example for me it "NA3".
    • If salesforce is doing maintenance or updates, you can check the status of your server by going here. Trust Salesforce.com
 
      • Workbooks - the best source of info to start you off with developing in your new org.
        • It will provide you steps on all the basics you would need such as:
          • how to create new objects
          • how to create /modify fields
          • how to create workflow rules
          • how to create validation rules
          • how to create email templates 
          • how to create formula fields
          • how to get started on writing code
        • The rest are for more advance and once you get thru workbooks then i suggest getting started on that.
  

  • Other useful links that an admin/developer/BA/PM should know about the system:
    • AppExchange - a marketplace for plugins or apps to install onto Salesforce natively. Some are free and some need to be paid for. 
      • Some great apps that have helped me in the past that could be installed onto your developer box and your instance are:
        • Field Trip - A great app to determine if fields in your object has data or not. great way to clean up.
        • Duplicate Catcher - Great tool for initial deduping
        • DupeBlocker - Amazing tool from Demand tools for deduping.
    • Ideas Exchange - If you see anything or have a great idea that would make Salesforce even greater then it is make a suggestion and have the community vote for it on Ideas Exchange.
  • DataLoader - You need this to insert/ update/ upsert(mix of insert and update)/ delete/ export records for salesforce. Its free and it is part of your developer org. Comes with the system. See screenshot on the left.

  • Salesforce Channel  - If you like videos to learn Salesforce, 401 and 501 classes and other related videos are located here at the Salesforce Channel .
  • Help & Training - Within your developer org and or if you have unlimited edition in your company's org, you have access to great videos by clicking Help & Training link next to your name which would pop open a window for submitting cases directly to salesforce support or getting your e learning on for Salesforce. 
  • Salesforce Blog - A great way to see blogs created by Salesforce on new features, videos, e-learning, etc.
  • Force.com Discussion Board - If you ever are stuck with any of the functionality or need help with formula field or even code, go to the Force.com Discussion Board. (also if your looking for a job or side work there is a Job Board for that as well).
  •  Salesforce Certifications - If you like to get certified in salesforce this is the best place to go and learn what certs are out there and get started on setting up the exam.
  • ForcePrepare - a great way to learn about the force.com certs also a great blog on force.com.
  • Jeff Douglas - Technology, Coding etc. - a great source of information for advance developers.
Thank you
Zishan
Hope this helps.